Council moves closer to reducing Stockton’s building fees

November 4, 2015

 

STOCKTON — Stockton builders will have to wait two more weeks to see what kind of fee reductions the City Council will approve.

The council voted to have staff analyze an alternative proposal to reduce public facilities fees that would include more multi-family housing and even steeper fee cuts  in low-income areas of town.

The effort to stimulate Stockton’s job market and jump start new home construction by reducing public facilities fees (PFFs) started last March and has become more complicated with every meeting.

By the end of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, four plans had emerged:

  •         The first was the original plan put together by the Building Industry Association of the Greater Valley and pressed by Mayor Anthony Silva that called for reducing public facilities fees by $17,000 for three years on each of 1,000 new, single-family homes in the city limits and 50 more in each of the city’s six council districts.
  •         The second was the recommendation by city staff to keep fee reductions to $12,459 so that bond obligations and contracts wouldn’t be impacted.
  •         The third was prepared by Councilman Moses Zapien which provided for $10,000 in fee reductions but more in low-income areas as defined by SB 535. It also changed the kinds of homes to 500 single-family and 500 multi-family, and shortened the timeframe to one year.
  •  The fourth was an amended version of Zapien’s plan that called for a fee reduction of $12,459 on new homes throughout the city and additional 75 percent reduction on new homes in low-income areas as defined by SB 535.

All the plans called for ensuring that at least 60 percent of the construction jobs created would go to workers within 50 miles of Stockton.

Community Development Director David Kwong explained that the city would have trouble reducing PFFs by more than $12,459 because of bond and contract obligations which would create legal and credit risks. Kwong said the only type of PFFs the city can adjust are fees related to public buildings or parks.

Nearly five hours after the meeting began, Zapien moved to have his amended plan analyzed by staff to determine what its impact would likely be. That motion passed 5-2 with council members Holman and Lofthus voting against it. The issue will be considered again at the Nov. 17 City Council meeting.

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